NPHC gets involved with African American Heritage Month


Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

Throughout Black History Month, groups from Eastern’s National Pan-Hellenic Council, NPHC, will be hosting events.

Some events during the month detail African American history and culture.

Even though these events may be about these topics at the surface, Phi Beta Sigma president and NPHC social media chair Stephen Cruse, a senior sports management major, thinks that these events can help get rid of stereotypes about the Black community.

“I think that the wide variety of events speak to the many different types of African American people and kind of helps get rid of the stereotype that we know everything there is to know about our history,” Cruse said. “There are many amazing things inside of black history and the wide variety of events reflects that and hopefully lets people know here on campus that there is a lot more to still be learned about the history as well.”

By attending these events, it shows Cruse where a person may stand, whether they are a staff or faculty member, student or a regular citizen. 

“Similar to the university staff, people in general whether it be students or staff or regular citizens of the majority race, I just think it’s important to make it clear through your actions what type of person you are and what you stand for,” Cruse said.

These events can also bring people together and unify the Eastern community. Cruse thinks that by attending these events, minority groups can be more influential throughout university life.

“I think the biggest thing is emphasizing the effort of all staff and faculty to show where they stand, in the world,” Cruse said. “Especially in today’s time, I think it’s important to push unity and kind of make sure that you show the people around you what your values and beliefs are through your actions. Also show people of all races that you want to help them just as much as a white person. Also I think NPHC, as well as any minority organizations here at Eastern should get more exposure and as much help and support from the school as the other organizations.”

Not all of the events during this month are about history, as some events are highlighting African American culture. Sigma Gamma Rho’s president, nursing major Kaliyah Mitchell, thinks that these events show many aspects of African American culture.

“The events provide a glimpse of many of the principles and traditions that African Americans live by and stand for,” Mitchell said. “The events depict the longitude of traditions passed down from many years ago.”

Many people within the Eastern community may know where they stand on these issues, but may not know what to do in these situations. Mitchell says it is important to support the Black community.

“Students who are not minorities can help by standing up for what’s right for everyone,” Mitchell said. “Most importantly, they can come out to different events to learn more about what we can do, what we do and who we are.”

Sigma Gamma Rho is hosting Food For the Soul on Feb. 8 at the culture center. This is one of the events that will tell attendees about the culture of African American foods.

Even though there is only one month dedicated to Black history, both Mitchell and Cruse think that there is more to be done, especially outside of February.

Mitchell said that it is important to “continue to support minorities and stand with us in our time of need.”

Like Mitchell, Cruse thinks it is vital for the community to support each other.

“We can all help one another and support one another,” Cruse said. “For example, black Greeks and white Greeks mixing and collabing would show togetherness on campus, and that we are all here to have a good time with one another.”

Cruse said change starts with social organizations on campus.

“Because in college social presence and social environment is everything on a campus that looks together with different races, whether it be Black, White, Asian, Mexican, Italian, etc., people seeing that we all hang out and socialize together would bring a positive effect to campus even after Black History Month,” Cruse said.

All students can show support by attending the events throughout the month.

For information about upcoming AAHM events, visit


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].